Aerohive Launches Pay-As-You-Go Software Licensing With New MSP Program

Wireless specialist Aerohive Networks is encouraging channel partners to become managed service providers through a new program offering tools, service opportunities, and a new model that allows partners to sell hardware separately from software licenses.

Aerohive has launched a new AdvantageMSP program to drive recurring revenue for channel partners that includes the ability to buy hardware, and then separately purchase software on a pay-as-you-go consumption model.

"This new model is really beneficial for us to deliver a managed service," said Justin Burgess, director of strategic initiatives for General Communication Inc. (GCI), an Anchorage, Alaska-based solution provider and Aerohive partner. "They've decoupled the licensing from 'I have to buy it all at once with a higher investment cost' to 'Now I can preload a big hardware purchase, then as my service offerings gets deployed, I scale up and scale down my licensing, so I'm not carrying a flat cost'. … It's really advantageous for service providers."

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The program is providing a set of new analytical and visibility tools as well as new product capabilities, including the ability for partners to build custom applications on top of the new Aerohive Cloud Services (ACS) platform. The platform includes open APIs for monitoring, presence, location and identity, allowing partners to offer new services beyond management and support of deployed hardware.

"We're using APIs here to access the data for our customers and partners to be able to give visibility in the network," said Matt Edwards, senior product marketing manager for Aerohive, in an interview with CRN. "ACS can collect a massive amount of data, store it, process it, categorize it in different buckets and then make it available by our APIs."

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor is also providing a new management tool within HiveManager, the company's cloud-enabled management solution, that gives partners the ability to manage multiple customers from a central location and scale as needed.

The tool provides a centralized global view of multiple customers' networks to make it easier for channel partners, according to Michael O'Brien, vice president of Aerohive's Global Channel Sales.

"This is specifically designed to let partners manage multiple organizations from a single dashboard, from a single management interface," said O'Brien, in an interview with CRN. "We're trying to make it easier for partners to get a unified view of what's happening in the network."

GCI's Burgess says Aerohive is giving partners access to rich data and analytics that will help drive business outcomes for customers. "We've got a large development team that's building a portal experience that overlays ... the HiveManager that would give visibility to the customer," he said.

Aerohive says the program is boosting partners' ability to enhance or build an MSP practice around the program by providing management and wireless as a service in a subscription-based model.

"We are working to enable partners to bring managed services to life," said O'Brien. "We intent this managed service portfolio to be ongoing to have a longer life than just an Infrastructure-as-a-Service."

For the first quarter of 2016, Aerohive experienced significant growth in the wireless LAN market (WLAN), increasing 63 percent year over year to $28 million, according to recent data from research firm IDC. Aerohive's largest competitors in the space are Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise -- which acquired Aruba Networks last year -- Ruckus Wireless, recently acquired by Brocade Communications, and Ubiquiti.

"We've got Cisco Meraki deployed, Aruba deployed, but we feel that the Aerohive solution gives us that visibility and analytics capability that customers are going to start demanding," said Burgess.